Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Lower limb dysmelia
How acquired
Birth and multiple operations
Date of Birth
November 2, 1999
Kariong, NSW
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Career Highlights

Competing at the 2015 World Championships


When he was just 14 years old, Dylan Littlehales had his first training session in a kayak. Just one year later he made his Australian team debut at the World Championships.

Dylan was first made aware of the opportunity to compete in Para-canoe after his uncle Mike Druce, coach of the Australian Canoe Slalom team, told him the sport had been added to the Paralympic programme for Rio 2016.

While Dylan had paddled in his uncle’s slalom boats growing up, he had focussed most of his athletic abilities into swimming. Soon after taking a leap to try Para-canoe, he joined Avoca Kayak Club near his Central Coast home, and now trains there under coaches David Birt and Paul Hutchinson.

Starting off his first competition season with a bang, Dylan finished the 2014/15 Flat Water Sprint Series with a silver medal in the open men’s 200m, as well as bronze medals in the 500m and 1000m sprints. He was then selected to the Australian team to contest the 2015 ICF World Championships in Milan, Italy. He was the youngest competitor in Milan by three years, and the youngest in his classification by five years.

Dylan was born with a limb deficiency in his right leg. He is missing some crucial ligaments in his right knee and bones in his right leg, which has been growing at a slower pace than his left leg.

Over his lifetime, he has endured 20 major surgeries to aid his mobility, including leg lengthening, knee reconstructions and major bone grafting to his leg.

Dylan trains on the water six days a week, in the gym three days a week and incorporates swimming into his weekly regimen when he can.

He likes to model his kayaking style on the water after two Australian able-bodied paddlers – world champion Lachlan Tame and U23 national team member Rob McIntyre. His preferred distance is the 500m, citing that it is a sprint with tactics.

While Dylan always had Tokyo 2020 in his sites, he is ecstatic to have qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He is most looking forward to competing in what will be the first Para-canoe competition at the Paralympics.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Canoe Disciplines: 200m Sprint Classification: KL3